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Montgomery Academy Helps School System Budget
Friday, 03 January 2014

January 3--  The Montgomery County school board has passed an amended budget for fiscal year 2014 that reflects increased state revenues because of the school system's on-line virtual school.

County School Superintendent Randy Rodgers says Montgomery Academy is a pioneering effort.

"We are the largest non-charter on-line public school in the state.  Our enrollment has increased by almost 60 percent.  Our enrollment in October in the virtual school was 627 and we have students from the entire state," he said.

The virtual school has students enrolled from as far away at Atlanta and Savannah.

The increased enrollment earns more state funding and that's helping the bottom line for the Montgomery County school system.

"We have increased our enrollment because of that by a little over 50 percent of our total enrollment.  Not only are we serving these children, but we're receiving revenue from the state to serve them.  In doing so, it has increased our budget by almost $2 million.  We were projecting a budget of about $7 million as far as our general fund is concerned, but now it will be around $9 million.  When you add that to our other funding from federal programs, our consolidated budget will be somewhere around $13 million," Rodgers said.

The virtual school and reductions in spending have allowed the school system to increase its reserve funds to an estimated $640,000 in 2014.  In 2011, the system had no reserves and was $90,000 in the hole, according to the superintendent.

The reserve fund allows the school board to reduce or avoid end of year borrowing and save interest on the loans, he notes.

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